Background Informed consent is a requirement for all research. It is not, however, clear how much information is sufficient to make an informed decision about participation in research. Information on an online questionnaire about childhood development was provided through an unfolding electronic participant sheet in three levels of information. Methods 552 participants, who completed the web-based survey, accessed and spent time reading the participant information sheet (PIS) between July 2008 and November 2009. The information behaviour of the participants was investigated. (...) The first level contained less information than might be found on a standard PIS, the second level corresponded to a standard PIS, and the third contained more information than on a standard PIS. The actual time spent on reading the information provided in three incremental levels and the participants' evaluation of the information were calculated. Results 77% of the participants chose to access the first level of information, whereas 12% accessed the first two levels, 6% accessed all three levels of information and 23% participated without accessing information. The most accessed levels of information were those that corresponded to the average reading times. Conclusion The brief information provided in the first level was sufficient for participants to make informed decisions, while a sizeable minority of the participants chose not to access any information at all. This study adds to the debate about how much information is required to make a decision about participation in research and the results may help inform the future development of information sheets by providing data on participants' actual needs when deciding about questionnaire surveys. (shrink)
We investigate the applicability of Hegerfeldts arguments on Quantum nonlocality in Quantum Electrodynamics following the work of Prigogine, Pronko, Petrosky, Ordonez and Karpov. We demonstrate the appearance of nonlocal effects at the level of quantum states. We show, however that the expectation values of some observables spread causally. Therefore the measurement of the nonlocality is questionable. We investigate an approach to classical measurement and conclude that the classical measurement cannot detect the “acausal” effects of the non-locality.
Constantin Caratheodory offered the first systematic and contradiction free formulation of thermodynamics on the basis of his mathematical work on Pfaff forms. Moreover, his work on measure theory provided the basis for later improved formulations of thermodynamics and physics of continua where extensive variables are measures and intensive variables are densities. Caratheodory was the first to see that measure theory and not topology is the natural tool to understand the difficulties (ergodicity, approach to equilibrium, irreversibility) in the Foundations of Statistical (...) Physics. He gave a measure-theoretic proof of Poincaré's recurrence theorem in 1919. This work paved the way for Birkhoff to identify later ergodicity as metric transitivity and for Koopman and von Neumann to introduce spectral analysis of dynamical systems in Hilbert spaces. Mixing provided an explanation of the approach to equilibrium but not of irreversibility. The recent extension of spectral theory of dynamical systems to locally convex spaces, achieved by the Brussels–Austin groups, gives new nontrivial time asymmetric spectral decompositions for unstable and/or non-integrable systems. In this way irreversibility is resolved in a natural way. (shrink)
A responsabilidade enquanto princípio ético, embora seja evocada pelos filósofos clássicos, desde a antiguidade ao existencialismo, assume novas perspectivas a partir do pensamento de Hans Jonas e Levinas. Ambos a colocam como centro da ética. Com Jonas a responsabilidade não é mais centrada no passado e no presente. A sua preocupação é com o futuro da humanidade, com as gerações futuras e com a sobrevivência das mesmas. Diferente de Platão, Jonas não está preocupado com a eternidade, mas com o tempo (...) vindouro, compatível com a era da ciência e da tecnologia, cuja responsabilidade passa a ser o alicerce, o princípio orientador para as decisões que possam interferir nas diferentes formas de vida. Levinas, por sua vez, também se afasta da tradição filosófica na medida em que não aceita mais a tese de que a responsabilidade é decorrente da liberdade. A responsabilidade não nasce de uma boa vontade, de um sujeito autônomo que quer livremente se comprometer com o outro ser. Ela nasce como resposta a um chamado. A responsabilidade é o fundamento primeiro e essencial da estrutura ética, a qual não aparece como suplemento de uma base existencial prévia. Aquém do ser se encontra uma subjetividade capaz de escutar a voz, sem palavras de um dizer original, e aponta para uma outra dimensão do eu. Prévio ao ato de consciência, anterior ao sujeito intencional, o eu já responde a um chamado. A responsabilidade pelo outro ser precede a representação conceitual ou a mediação de um mandamento ético. Ela é obediência a uma vocação, a uma eleição pelo bem além do ser. A responsabilidade determina a liberdade do eu, pois esta não consegue mais se justificar por ela mesma. PALAVRAS-CHAVE – Ética. Liberdade. Jonas. Levinas. Responsabilidade. ABSTRACT Responsibility qua ethical principle, however evoked by classical philosophers from Antiquity through existentialism, assumes new perspectives since the contributions of Hans Jonas and Levinas. Both place it at the center of ethics. With Jonas, responsibility no longer focuses on past and present. His concern is rather with the future of humankind, with future generations and their survival. Contrary to Plato, Jonas is not concerned with eternity, but with the time to come, compatible with the era of science and technology, whose responsibility becomes the groundwork and guiding principle for decisions that might interfere in different life forms. As for Levinas, he also departs from the philosophical tradition insofar as he rejects the thesis that responsibility results from freedom. Responsibility does not stem from a good will, from an autonomous subject who freely wants to be engaged with another being. Responsibility rather emerges as response to a call, it is the first, essential ground of ethical structure, which cannot appear as a supplement of a previous existential basis. Even before Being, one finds a subjectivity capable of listening to a voice, without words, of an originary saying, and points to another dimension of the self. Previous to the act of consciousness, anterior to the intentional subject, the self already responds to the call. Responsibility towards the other being precedes the conceptual representation or the mediation of an ethical commandment. It is obedience to a vocation, to an election by the Good beyond Being. Responsibility determines the freedom of the self, since the lattercan no longer be justified by itself. KEY WORDS – Ethics, Freedom, Jonas, Levinas, Responsibility. (shrink)
Classification of certain group-like FL $_e$ -chains is given: We define absorbent-continuity of FL $_e$ -algebras, along with the notion of subreal chains, and classify absorbent-continuous, group-like FL $_e$ -algebras over subreal chains: The algebra is determined by its negative cone, and the negative cone can only be chosen from a certain subclass of BL-chains, namely, one with components which are either cancellative (that is, those components are negative cones of totally ordered Abelian groups) or two-element MV-algebras, and with no (...) two consecutive cancellative components. It is shown that the classification theorem does not hold if we drop the absorbent-continuity condition. Our result is the first classification theorem in the literature on FL $_e$ -algebras that does not assume the condition of being naturally ordered (which, under certain conditions, corresponds to continuity of the monoid operation). In our classification theorem, continuity is replaced by the much weaker absorbent-continuity. (shrink)
A philosophical exchange broadly inspired by the characters of Berkeley’s Three Dialogues. Hylas is the realist philosopher: the view he stands up for reflects a robust metaphysic that is reassuringly close to common sense, grounded on the twofold persuasion that the world comes structured into entities of various kinds and at various levels and that it is the task of philosophy, if not of science generally, to “bring to light” that structure. Philonous, by contrast, is the anti-realist philosopher (though not (...) necessarily an idealist): his metaphysic is stark, arid, dishearteningly bone-dry, and stems from the conviction that a great deal of the structure that we are used to attribute to the world out there lies, on closer inspection, in our head, in our “organizing practices”, in the complex system of concepts and categories that unrerlie our representation of experience and our need to represent it that way. (shrink)